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What phone contract is best for you?

Lucie Spraggs's picture

What phone contract is best for you?
 

Pay Monthly

You sign up to a contract of usually 12, 18 or 24 months where you'll pay a fixed amount each month. This payment will cover:

  • Your line rental - the payment made to your network for their services.
  • A set number of minutes, texts and if you choose, a data bundle for using the internet.

With some deals there'll be an upfront charge towards your phone.

You'll need to pass a credit check before you can sign up.

If you like the idea of a set number of minutes, texts and data, but don't want to be tied to a contract and you're happy with the phone you have, a SIM only deal might be the one for you.

Advantages of a Pay monthly contract?

  • Many of the latest phones are available on Pay monthly contracts before they're available on Pay as you go.
  • You'll get a bigger allowance of texts, calls and data than you would with Pay as you go - great for big talkers, texters and internet addicts.
  • Managing your money is hassle free - you don't need to top-up your credit. Payments are made by direct debit without you having to do anything, so as long as you don't go over your monthly allowances, you'll always know exactly what you're paying.

Sim only

There are two types of SIM only deals

The main difference between them is that a Pay monthly SIM only deal includes an allowance for calls, texts and data which you'll be billed for every 30 days. A Pay as you go SIM only deal requires you to top up with credit.

Neither deal includes a free phone.

Pay as you go

Here's what happens. You need to buy airtime credit in the form of a top up before you can make any calls or texts. This credit is used to pay for the texts and calls you make - when you run out of credit you need to top-up your phone again before you can use it. More about how to top-up.

When you buy a Pay as you go phone you're required to purchase a minimum £10 top-up.

Advantages of Pay as you go SIM only deals

  • It's great value
  • There are no monthly charges and Pay as you go phones are really affordable.
  • There's no credit check
  • If your credit history isn't the best, then this is a great option.
  • You know exactly how much you're spending
  • If you use up all your airtime credit you just won't be able to make any more calls or send texts - there are no other charges.
  • You're not tied to a contract
  • Walk away whenever you want.

Pay monthly

  • They are available as standard, micro and nano SIMs.
  • You'll need to pay by direct debit and pass a credit check (more about this below) before you can sign up to a Pay monthly SIM only deal.
  • You can opt for a 30 day rolling contract and end the deal at any time, as long as you give 30 days' notice.
  • SIM only deals are also available on 12 month contracts.
  • The SIM card can only be used in a phone that isn't 'locked' to a different network

Advantages of Pay monthly SIM only deals

  • It's a good plan to be on if your current contract has ended and you're not sure what to do next.
  • If you don't want to commit to a longer contract straight away or you want to wait for a certain handset to become available, SIM only is great.
  • Managing your money is hassle free
  • You can pay by direct debit and if you don't go over your monthly allowances, you'll always know exactly what you're paying.
  • Although there's a credit check, it has different criteria to a Pay monthly one
  • So, this may be a good plan for you if you've previously failed credit checks or don't want to take one.


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